Living Room

Arthur Vogelsang

It is difficult reading today
Or doing my volunteer work at the hospital or reading.
Do you have anything unbelievable that you have read twice?
No. (She was looking too briefly at each picture in a book—
One looks longer at a stop sign.
She says they are simply like the sky,
How many times can you look at it?)
I feel like talking to you.
The cat enforcing its will by passing out on my desk
And once in a while sighing in ecstasy.
Because I said I worked at the hospital
Half my friends will think I am a prideful phony
And the other half will like me more.
I’ve noticed that when one reads
There is less consciousness and therefore less pain.
What to do, what to do.

Arthur Vogelsang is the author most recently of the poetry collection Orbit, as well as Expedition: New and Selected Poems, and other books, including Twentieth Century Women, chosen by John Ashbery for the Contemporary Poetry Series.
Originally published:
July 1, 2018

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